A more obliging Red Kite
After this extended and partially successful visit, I got a helpful text from Badger saying there was a Slavonian Grebe at Farmoor, so with visions of a splendid, summer plumage bird close into the bank, I set off on the lengthy cross county drive, via Abingdon.
By the time I arrived, the lovely weather of the early morning had well and truly disappeared to be replaced by leaden skies and a cool wind. Arriving at Farmoor, I was told the Slav was about as far from the car park as it could be - off the west bank of F1! Undeterred I set out and passed the customary pair of Great Northern Divers off the causeway before arriving at a small group of birders observing the Slavonian Grebe. Unfortunately, not only was it very distant and asleep, but also it was showing only a hint of summer plumage. In fact when it first briefly raised its head, my grotty photo suggested to me it was only a Little Grebe. The next time, it was just about identifiable but when the bird doesn't even fill the central focusing square (the small one you get with spot focus), you know you're not going to get anything worthwhile! As nobody else has posted a pic of it yet, I will risk derision by showing the shot! Still, this did mean I have now seen all 5 British Grebes this year, all in summer plumage, or traces thereof.
Mega distant Slavonian Grebe
I then heard from Badger that the Channel Wagtail and 2 Yellows were showing back over at the waterworks, so I gave the Grebe up as a bad job and with it getting very dark, headed back over the causeway to find... all the wagtails had gone! Such is life sometimes! It then started to pour down and the temperature plummeted so I beat a hasty retreat.